The Shore of Glory

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Daily Reformation, Acts 27:39-44

From the Reformer

And then it might seem that both God had mocked Paul, and that he, with trifling, had brought his partners in a vain hope; but God did forthwith put away that error by giving them prosperous success. It was meet that when the ship was broken, they should be so discouraged, and that their souls should so melt, that despair might increase the glory of the miracle. For God useth to moderate and govern his works so, that he maketh some show of difficulty by reason of many lets [hindrances] which fall out. By this means he sharpeneth our senses unto greater attentiveness, that we may at length learn that, though all the world strive against him, yet will he have the victory. This is the reason why he had rather draw Paul and his companions to the shore after that the ship was lost, than bring the ship whole to land.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Acts

Pulling It Together

Very often, one does not see the way of escape because his attention is on what he considers a disaster. That person must ask himself a serious question: “Do I believe that God is in control or not?” If God is in control (and he is) then all things are being used by God for his good purposes. Even ship wrecks and car wrecks and wrecked relationships are in his control. Sometimes the vessel must be destroyed so that its inhabitants might “make for the land” and find the shore of God’s glory.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

1 Comment

  1. Mark Post author

    THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS
    by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
    Sails the unshadowed main,—
    The venturous bark that flings
    On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
    In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
    And coral reefs lie bare,
    Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

    Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
    Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
    And every chambered cell,
    Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
    As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
    Before thee lies revealed,—
    Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

    Year after year beheld the silent toil
    That spread his lustrous coil;
    Still, as the spiral grew,
    He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
    Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
    Built up its idle door,
    Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

    Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
    Child of the wandering sea,
    Cast from her lap, forlorn!
    From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
    Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!
    While on mine ear it rings,
    Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—

    Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
    As the swift seasons roll!
    Leave thy low-vaulted past!
    Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
    Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
    Till thou at length art free,
    Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

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